Border Crossing Crimes: Entering the United States into Michigan from Canada
An international border is a place where a person or vehicle can be searched without probable cause or a warrant. A person’s individual right of privacy at an international border is outweighed by the security, commercial and legal interests of the countries involved. A person, truck or container may be the subject of a search at the Canada/United States international border crossings located in the Michigan cities of Port Huron (Blue Water Bridge) or Detroit (Tunnel to Canada and Ambassador Bridge). Criminal charges may be pursued against a person engaged in illegal conduct under either state or federal laws. In certain scenarios, both the state and federal government in the United States may prosecute an individual for a single criminal act pursuant to the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine.
The ABDO LAW FIRM provides complete criminal legal defense services to those charged with crimes which occur at border crossings from Canada into the US at Port Huron or Detroit. Our representative clients include Canadians and US citizens. Border crimes usually involve the element of “possession” or “smuggling” illegal contraband; such as a weapon, firearm, drugs, marijuana, stolen property or medications without prescriptions. Also, a person may also be charged with disorderly conduct or drunk driving at either side of an international border.
Upon conviction of most criminal offenses in the United States, a person may become “criminally inadmissible” to enter Canada. For example, a drunk driving or retail fraud conviction is an offense which would make a non-citizen of Canadian criminally inadmissible to travel into Canada. However, the United States Customs and Border Protection does not classify a drunk driving (first offense without aggravating circumstances) as such. The classification of the crime is important to determine whether it will have an effect on one’s international travel rights. In the United States, a conviction of a crime which involves moral turpitude can result in deportation, denial of citizenship and denial of entry into the United States. A Canadian that is excluded from the United States because of a criminal conviction involving “moral turpitude” may pre-apply for entry by providing a temporary waiver application. The temporary waiver application process can take up to a year according to US Customs and Border Protection.
WE WON: DONE IN ONE: The ABDO LAW FIRM represented a truck driver from Oregon. His semi- truck was searched on the US side at the Blue Water Bridge crossing and a weapon was found in the passenger compartment. Our firm negotiated a dismissal of the felony weapon charge and a reduction to a misdemeanor which will be dismissed upon compliance with a 3 month term of misdemeanor non-reporting probation. We were retained after a few phone calls and emails. The Oregon resident was only required to appear in the Port Huron District Court in Michigan for a single court date!
The ABDO LAW FIRM is equipped with skillful trial lawyers and we are well prepared to efficiently and effectively handle all felony, misdemeanor and federal criminal cases in Michigan, including international border violations or crimes. Our firm has also assisted clients with legal problems arising in the Metro Airport region.
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